For more than 35 years, The Maryland History Lecture series at St. John’s College has presented a wide variety of topics on Maryland subjects and events. Sponsored by the Anne Arundel County Trust for Preservation the lectures are free and open to the public and held in the Francis Scott Key Auditorium.
From 1999 to 2017, Willard Royal Mumford, as director of the Anne Arundel County Trust for Preservation, stewarded these lectures with great enthusiasm, bringing to the St. John’s campus engaging storytellers and important authors, historians and politicians. This year, we honor the late Will Mumford with three topics he found interesting: Annapolis during the Civil War, African American history in Anne Arundel County, and the Chesapeake Bay.
January 15, 6 p.m.
History of St. Mary’s Church in Annapolis during the Civil War
Robert Worden’s forthcoming book, Soldiers of the Cross: Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos and the Catholic Community in Annapolis during the Civil War, goes into great detail about the impact of the war on Annapolis and specifically on the priests, brothers, seminarians, and parishioners of St. Mary’s Church. In this talk, he will present “untold stories” about some heretofore-obscure members of the Catholic community, including both free and enslaved African Americans, European immigrants, and long-time residents. Dr. Worden is the long-time archivist and historian of St. Mary’s Parish.
February 3, 2 p.m.
Emancipation Continues: War & Peace
Set in 2018, diverse members of a local community organization “battle” to create a show for Black History month that celebrates great African American speakers, authors, artists, and entertainers of the 1940s and 1950s. Throughout their meetings, the members provide examples of vocal and instrumental music, dance, poetry, oratory, and history of the period to determine works worthy of presentation to their audience. Written and directed by Vivian Spencer.
March 12, 6 p.m.
Archeologists throughout the Chesapeake are in a race against time to record sites that are threatened by the effects of climate change. Rising sea levels, eroding coasts, and intense storms have washed away countless resources, some dating back thousands of years. Sinking land and rampant development have exacerbated the problem. Throughout the region, professional archaeologists are working with concerned citizens to excavate sites and record data before much of our coastal history is lost forever. Stephanie Sperling, former director of archaeological research for Anne Arundel County Archaeology Group/Lost Towns Project, will discuss work she has undertaken to combat this problem over the last decade and share stories from other archaeological digs throughout the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.
Jay Fleming, noted local Chesapeake Bay author and photographer, will present feature stories and photos from the making of his book Working the Water, a visual narrative of the lives of those individuals whose livelihood is directly dependent upon the Chesapeake Bay—America’s largest estuary. He will also be sharing photographs from his forthcoming book Island Life, which uses photography and prose to explore the rich environment and culture of Smith and Tangier, the last two inhabited offshore islands in the Chesapeake Bay.
A question and answer period will follow.